Our story is not new, in fact it's been going on for 23 months now. We know we are not alone in our journey but it can feel that way. It has taken us a lot of time and courage to decide to share our story and ask for help in making our dreams come true.
We are going to share our story from 3 perspectives-a women's; a man's and a child's.
First Brenna's - a woman's story
￼￼￼Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. Seeing a piece of you grow, and learn, and leave their own footprint on the world would be a privilege and an honour that I have always longed for. But we are one of the one in eight couples dealing with infertility, and our journey has been the most trying experience of my life. Here is a bit of our story...Four years ago I met Mat and his daughter, Bailey, who was 5 at the time. Mat is an amazing man with a huge heart, a generous spirit, and a dedication to fatherhood that goes unmatched. Bailey is evidence of this, and has wished for a long time to become a big sister. We knew early on that we wanted our family to grow, and made the decision two years ago to begin trying to conceive. For whatever reason, I always had a feeling that getting pregnant would not be quick and easy. Maybe this was a self-fulfilling prophecy. But never did I believe we would be coming up on a two-year anniversary, still waiting for that fourth member of our little clan. In the past two years, we have consulted family Doctors, Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, Gynecologists, and Fertility specialists. We’ve tested for everything under the sun, adapted our diet, practiced mindfulness, worked on our mindset, and tracked every fertility marker possible. There have been no identifiable "problems", so our inability to conceive has been dubbed "unexplained". This is incredibly frustrating because if there was something we could do to fix the problem, we'd go to the ends of the earth to do it. In the absence of any scientific reasoning, we’ve tried the lowest levels of intervention open to us: fertility drugs and four IUIs (artificial insemination). All with negative results.
Throughout this journey, we’ve stretched our emotional limits, questioned our faith in the universal plan, extended our finances, and tested the strength of our relationship. And still, we wait. And still, we persevere. And still, we look to the next steps to make our dreams of having a child a reality.
I am usually a very private and self-reliant person. Seeking extra help has been difficult, and asking for it is even more so. But my privacy and my pride are secondary to our desire to have a baby. And so, the need for the “next step” has come, and we are humbly asking for your help. This summer we will proceed with our first round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It is an expensive procedure ($8000) with no guarantees, but right now it is the best shot we’ve got. I am lucky that my medical covers the cost of the medications, but the procedure and some additional costs are not. We have also exhausted our extended health coverage for additional supports like acupuncture, counseling, naturopath, etc. These add thousands of dollars to the basic cost of the procedure. We feel confident that our baby will join us one day; but their arrival might require a different path.
As difficult as this process has been – emotionally draining, and often very lonely – we are constantly surprised that so many people are dealing with the same thing. We know we are not alone, and whether or not we raise the funds we need, we hope that our story helps someone else to realize the same. We thank you for your support - whether it be financial or emotional, or both - and we can't wait for you to meet our beautiful baby!
Mat - a man's story.
￼When I first met Brenna, I wasn't sure where things would go but during the "figuring out stage", one of the non negotiables for me was that she wanted to have a kid (or 2). Fast forward a couple of years- the conversation of "let's try" is always an exciting one. One would not think there could be a negative side to that, and that is part of why we wanted to be a little bit more public with our journey. To tell, to all those that are trying, what our experience has been and how we are dealing with it. Negative might be a strong word but after a few months of using the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" and "practice makes perfect" as my mantra, it was time to move to more sophisticated methods- yes peeing on sticks and identifying the "perfect" window. Let me tell you this starts to change the experience. It goes from 2 people that love each other and wanting to share that love with a new life to a FULL ON PRODUCTION. Calendars, apps, fertility tests (pee sticks in guy talk), electronic versions of the same (look for that happy face), Codes like GREEN WEEK (no more dress rehersal this is the REAL deal- game on). Naturopath, accupuncture, meditation, etc.... And this goes on for months......12 month mark- they say this is the time to go seek help or at least get the information. So we did - then it was testing - do you have guys? Can they swim? Is there enough of them? Are they fit enough to make the journey?.................................................................................YES!!!!!!
OK Bren your turn.............Do you have eggs? Are your tubes blocked (my guys are good but having to complete a TOUGH MUDDER to get the prize makes it less likely that they get the GOLDEN EGG), healthy parts, regular ovulation, etc....Results........................................................YES!!!!
You see we fit into the category of unexplained infertility- Approximately 20-30 percent of infertility patients receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Imagine getting all YES and still being told that there is no real explanation as why you can't get pregnant. I found this blog by Heather Huhman (www.twitter.com/heatherhuhman) who speaks to Dr. AllisonRodgers
All of this to say I know a few things- I know the journey we have been on. I know that all of us in the family want a baby (or 2). I LOVE being a DAD and anyone who has met Brenna or seen her at work; or share her creative genius knows, that the world needs more Brenna. I have told her on many occasions that the WORLD needs OUR baby as I know it will be an incredible combination of US.
So please help us by sending your good vibes, and even better, your donations to make sure that we can give the World the best chance of receiving our gift.
Bailey- a childs story.
￼￼￼Bailey is a great example of the best of two people- she has the kindness, beauty and caring of her mom (ok and hair) And she has tenacity, laughter and strong will from me (I claim her eyes but its too tough to know) What people don't know, is that I have taken a number of cues from Bailey. She was the one who asked if we could have Brenna move in with us. AND she started (about the same time as we did) asking about wanting a sister (trying to warm her up to a brother just in case but she is pretty set on a sister). For those of us that know us we speak pretty openly about things. Part of that is to prepare her and part of it is to get her thoughts on the matter. I love getting her version of the world we live in from her eyes. So YES she wants a sibling. When we spoke most recently I started to explain this process and that due to the fact that we decided to do 2 embryos- that there is a chance of having twins. This was helpful as I mentioned that it could mean 1 boy and 1 girl which she quickly replied "or 2 girls". You see Bailey feels that lots of her friends have "Twins" as in siblings that look that them. She wants a "twin" of her own- she has already decided the baby has to have BLUE or GREEN eyes.
She has assured me that she knows having a baby can be hard work but that I have nothing to worry about as she is prepared to help. And anyone who knows Bailey and her attentiveness and kindness knows that we truly do have nothing to worry about. So we ask that you help BAILEY get her sibling and send those awesome vibes and make a donation to our #gofundme #IVFBabyB campaign.
Much Love from all of us Mat, Brenna and Bailey xoxox
- Raz Chan
- Char Boyer
- Megan Leith